Police to investigate sailing club damage

POLICE in Bradford on Avon are examining CCTV footage of teenagers who have caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to boats at the town’s sailing club.

The damage was caused over two evenings on Saturday, June 17 and Monday, June 19 as groups of up to 150 teenagers from Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge celebrated the end of their GCSE examinations.

Groups of youths, both male and female, have been gathering near the Bradford on Avon Sailing Club to cool off during the hot summer weather by swimming in the River Avon.

But they have caused several hundred pounds worth of damage to two dinghies in the club’s boatyard after climbing over a fence in a bid to remove them to put into the river.

Police Community Support Officer, Ella Maria Badder, said:

“We are looking at the CCTV footage from the club’s security cameras in a bid to identify those responsible. We have good, clean images on CCTV of the people who climbed over the fence and pictures of them damaging the boats. We are also looking at other incidents involving the starting of small fires, and drug and alcohol use. We have images of small packets of drugs being passed around.”

Police say it appears the teenagers have tried to remove the boats by using bolt cutters to remove security wires and to try and lift them over the club’s metal security fence.

A small Optimist dinghy worth more than £250 and a larger Topper dinghy worth around £300 have been damaged and security wires cut.

Lew Cundick, the club’s Bosun, who maintains the boats and equipment, said:

“They have smashed the fibreglass front end of the small Optimist dinghy after dropping the boat and have cut the security cable. They also tried to move the Topper dinghy from the boat storage rack and have damaged it by trying to drag it over the fence.”

He estimates that to replace both dinghies would cost the club £550-£600.

“It’s not just about the cost, they have deprived young people of the opportunity to sail.”

PCSO Badder said:

“We don’t wish to spoil the teenagers’ fun but are urging them to respect the environment and other people’s land and property. We want them to have a good time but would point out that drug and alcohol use and swimming don’t mix and we would ask them to be sensible and safe.”

Anyone who has witnessed the damage is urged to leave a message for PCSO Badder at ku.ec1506214362ilop.1506214362nnp.e1506214362rihst1506214362liw@r1506214362eddab1506214362.alle1506214362

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